General Question

buckyboy28's avatar

What happens to a gift card when it is used in an area without a "Gift Certificate Law"?

Asked by buckyboy28 (4943points) November 6th, 2009

Massachusetts has a law that states that a gift card or certificate must retain its full value for at least 7 years, but many states do not have such law. How is the value of the card determined?

More specifically, does it lose its value if used in another state without such law, or does it have to do with where the original value of the card was placed on the card?

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6 Answers

RedPowerLady's avatar

I would bet it depends on where the card was purchased. Also most cards around here have expiration dates clearly printed on them or a line that says there is no expiration.

Judi's avatar

In California expiration dates are illegal.

buckyboy28's avatar

@RedPowerLady In Massachusetts, it is illegal to not list an expiration date on a gift card or certificate. There is up to a $300 fine for the store, but I have never heard of it being enforced. More of a blue law, I guess.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@buckyboy28 So is the expiration date different from it retaining it’s full value?

buckyboy28's avatar

@RedPowerLady Yes, sometimes they list on the back of the card something along the lines of “After 24 months of non-use, a $2.50 inactivity charge will be deduced from the remaining value of the card”.

This is illegal in Massachusetts, but after 7 years of non-use, the value of the card will go to zero (supposedly… I’ve never kept a card that long), unless they list that the card will not expire.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@buckyboy28 Interesting, I’ve never heard of that.

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